e‐Science Task Force Final Report

Abstract

In several recent reports and solicitations, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has not only emphasized the importance of shared technological resources for academic work and research in all disciplines, but also pointed out the need to embed resources, tools, and services within a larger system—a cyberinfrastructure (CI). Based on networks, computers, and data storage, a CI’s foundation is the services, software, and human expertise that organize these resources to make them ubiquitously and seamlessly accessible to researchers, faculty, and students. Such a system aims to enable “distributed knowledge communities that collaborate and communicate across disciplines, distances, and cultures.” Echoing NSF, a research initiatives report solicited by the Computing Research Association in December 2008 recommends “a series of investments to create balanced high performance cyberinfrastructure for hundreds of U.S. colleges and universities which will stimulate the development, deployment, and application of a new generation of data‐intensive discovery.” Because, as the report states, “Research universities are the central engine of the innovation economy,” the task of “providing network enabled opportunities for students and faculty to work with large‐scale, data‐intensive computing and other cyberinfrastructure will yield high returns over many years.” Columbia must be in a position to take advantage of such national cyberinfrastructure investments should they occur

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